More in Common than is Commonly Thought

Saco project on leadership and managament from a union point of view with gender equality in mind.

Publicerad: Onsdag 3 sep 2008

Arbetsliv & arbetsmiljö,

"More in Common than is Commonly Thought - Highly-Educated Men and Women on Work and Career" is an overview in English on a project where Saco illuminates issues of leadership and managament from a union point of view. The project aims to shed light on similarities and differences between male and female highly-educated professionals' perceptions of career and organization-related values. In an earlier project the starting point was the conditions of female leadership. "More in Common.." is a summary of the two projects, which have studied management and leadership with emphasis on gender equality. The aim with this English version is to share our findings and interpretations, primarily with colleagues in the Eurocadres and the ETUC.

Swedish salary statistics show that differences remain between women and men – to the disadvantage of women – even when factors like education, profession, professional experience, work life sectors, region, positional level etc. have been taken into account. Compared with the rest of Europe, Sweden has a high percentage of gainfully employed women but a low percentage of women in top managerial positions. Salary formation processes – and the divergent salary progress for women and men respectively – cannot be understood without linking these to how work is organized and how career options are being shaped.

Work is increasingly organised to deliver more or less tailor-made services and products to clients and consumers. At the same time a comparatively stable and hierarchical line organization remains a basis for different types of projectoriented as well as process- or flow-oriented work organization. During the years to come, the "line" is likely to prevail, indicating status and position in the organization and to be the basis of the way we look upon career and salary progress. This probably means that line organization management continuously will carry greater weight for salary progress and future career opportunities than for example a leading staff position and project leadership.

Our findings show that the similarities between highly-educated women and men are far greater than the differences. However, highly-educated women are far less likely to advance to top positions - but the explanation as to why is to be found in the working organization rahter than in the women themselves.

In Swedish

"More in Common.." är en sammanfattning av ett projekt som Saco har om ledarskapsfrågor ur ett fackligt och jämställdhetsperspektiv. Största delen består av en kortare version av Saco-rapporten "Mer lika än olika" som handlar om kvinnliga och manliga akademikers syn på organisationsvärderingar och karriär. Mer lika än olika kan laddas ned och beställas på svenska via Sacos hemsida.